Passed The Baton To More Civilized Times

, , , , | Related | April 13, 2019

Many years after the fact, my husband related to me and his parents a story of his first and only encounter with law enforcement.

When he was fourteen, he did one of those stupid things under peer pressure that was considered a badge of honor back then: driving a motorbike without a license, or indeed without being the appropriate age to get one. Of course, he was stopped and taken to the police station. As a minor, his parents were to be called, but there was an unofficial, alternative punishment: a couple of whacks across the buttock of the child in question. Different times, back then. It was not legal, of course, but deemed appropriate.

Given the choice, my husband without hesitation chose the alternative. The friendly police sergeant opened a drawer and gave him a choice of the tool. There was a colorful collection of batons of various materials, from wooden, to rubber, to plastic. My husband chose the least impressive, small one. The policeman said okay, grabbed the stick… and expanded it to working length. Yes, it was the first model of telescopic baton in use, and according to my husband, it stung.

Still, my husband maintains, that it was much better than what his father would have done to him, had he known about his ride without a license.

“You bet I would,” said my father-in-law, when my husband finished. “In fact, I still should!” and jokingly undid his belt.

Teenage Dream Turns Into A Nightmare

, , , , , , | Legal | April 3, 2019

(I’m working third shift in the control room at a police department, and it’s currently one in the morning. I have my main screen fixed on my sergeant, who is outside in the dimly-lit parking lot taking a smoke break. The parking lot is completely empty except for the cars belonging to the jail staff. She’s about to come back in when two teenage girls walk across the parking lot and ask her something. The sergeant shakes her head but leads them towards the main lobby door. They take a seat as the sergeant radios me.)

Sergeant: “[My Name], call Communications and have them dispatch [Patrol Sergeant] here. Those juveniles he’s been searching for have shown up.”

(I see the girls look at each other uneasily on the camera as the sergeant takes a seat between them and the door.)

Me: “Roger that.”

(I make the call, and not a minute later I see two patrol cars come flying into the parking lot. One officer jumps out of his car before it’s even parked. I turn on a speaker in the lobby just in time to hear:)

Patrol Sergeant:Where have you two been? And who have you been with?”

(The girls pretend to ignore him before the other deputy gets in their face.)

Deputy: “HE ASKED WHERE THE H*** HAVE YOU TWO BEEN? DO YOU KNOW HOW WORRIED YOUR PARENTS ARE? WHAT THE H*** WERE YOU THINKING?”

(Two more cars come flying into the parking lot, and an older couple, a young man, and a middle-aged woman come storming into the lobby. The sergeant takes that as her cue and comes back into the jail, shaking her head.)

Sergeant: “Stupid idiots. What the h*** were they thinking?”

Me: “Is everything okay, Sergeant?”

Sergeant: “Those two were the fifteen-year-olds that the deputies have been looking for all night. They decided to skip school but realized they missed their ride back afterward.”

Me: “But the high school dismisses at three pm! What were they doing? Just wandering around for the last ten hours?”

Sergeant: “I don’t know. What’s it looking like out there?”

(I look at the camera just in time to see the mother of [Girl #1] throw a book bag across the lobby while the other woman and the father are shouting and waving around a cell phone. The young man is turning red, and he yells at the girls before walking back outside. Meanwhile, the deputies are standing back shaking their heads.)

Me: “I think there is more to the story, Sergeant. The families look pissed off right now.”

(The next morning we got the full story from the deputies. The girls had skipped school to spend the day fooling around with their secret twenty-some-year-old boyfriends in the next county over. The plan had been for them to get back in time to catch the bus so no would know they were gone. Unfortunately, [Girl #1]’s mother had gone to pick her up early, and when they found out she had never shown up to school, they asked about [Girl #2], who is their neighbor. That’s when they realized that BOTH of them had not shown up for school at all and were reported missing. The young man was [Girl #2] brother, who had driven up from South Carolina to help their mom look for her, during his finals week, no less. The girls did end up missing their buses back, but it was because their boyfriends got them back late. Instead of owning up to it, they tried to find someone who could give them a ride and eventually gave up. After wandering around for hours, they saw the sergeant smoking in the parking lot and decided it was time to ask for help. When the parents arrived, everyone was already stressed out and pissed off. That’s when [Girl #1]’s mother — who is very conservative — saw hickeys on her daughter, and she lost it, throwing her book bag across the lobby. The dad was screaming because [Girl #2]’s mom had unlocked her daughter’s phone and found explicit photos of them with their boyfriends. The brother, realizing he missed an important final because of his sister’s booty call, snapped and walked out before he hit her. Last I heard, the boyfriends had been criminally charged and one of the girls had been sent to a private school.)

Driving Up The Illegality

, , , , , | Legal | March 29, 2019

This is a story often told by my father and his friend. When they were sixteen, my father’s friend had tuned and put all sorts of extra gear on his moped, most of it illegal. The moped was therefore able to drive way faster than was legal.

One day, my father’s friend was stopped, and the moped in question was taken by the police. Now, my father’s friend was the son of a posh English lady — note that this took place in a small, coastal village in Denmark, where foreigners were not common — and he went home and cried to his mother that the police had taken his moped without any cause. His mother always believed everything he said.

When the night fell, my father’s friend and another of my father’s friends jumped the fence to the police warehouse where the moped was stored. They quickly uninstalled all the illegal stuff, thus making the moped perfectly road-legal once again, and slipped out, unnoticed.

The next morning, my father’s friend and his mother marched down to the police station, where the mother started yelling at the police for taking her poor, innocent son’s moped and demanded that they give it back. When they informed her that it was illegal, she demanded to see it. Then my father’s friend, his mother, and two policemen all marched out to the moped, which was now legal. The police gave back the moped and apologised to the mother. She never did find out that he had broken into the police warehouse to fix it.

This Ride-Along Is Peppered With Incident

, , , , , , | Legal | March 3, 2019

Several years ago, my dad got to go on a ride-along with a family friend of ours that happened to be a cop. They ended up responding to an incident where a couple of bicycle cops had caught someone and needed to have him taken to the station.

My dad and our friend showed up at the scene. They managed to get the guy into the car. The guy was on something, but they just weren’t sure what. He’d ended up needing to be pepper-sprayed because he wasn’t backing down when asked to stop advancing on the responding officers. The two of them got him back to the station and into the hands of whoever for processing. As our friend was filling out the necessary paperwork, they heard:

“You really don’t want to do that. Nope, I wouldn’t take your pants off. I wouldn’t do that.”

This was followed by a bloodcurdling shriek.

Apparently, the guy had decided he needed to go to the bathroom. After being pepper-sprayed. Another officer was called in to help calm him down.

Stuck In A Bloody Cycle

, , , , , | Healthy | February 13, 2019

About twelve years ago I was riding my motorcycle when I got hit by a driver that didn’t look to see whether the road was clear while exiting her driveway. The impact and subsequent fall wrecked the bike pretty badly; the lights and the mirrors were shattered, the rear brake drum had cracked, the clutch got stuck on partially-disengaged, and the transmission got stuck on third. I was okay, aside from a nasty cut on my chin that got the front of my jacket covered in blood.

After checking myself for bodily injuries and concluding that I had sustained none aside from that cut, I exchanged the mandatory details with the woman that hit me, and told her I wanted to contact the police to have an accident report filled. The woman exclaimed that “she had no time for this,” and promptly drove off, leaving her front bumper, which had torn off in the collision, behind. I then found out that I had no battery remaining on my phone.

I just went to the police station to get that report, on that very bike which was somehow still driveable with all that damage. The officer I spoke to was horrified by the way I looked with all that blood, told me that the report could wait, and urged me to go to the ER to get myself examined. When he asked me whether I could get to the hospital myself, I absent-mindedly just nodded and pointed at the helmet I had in my hand. That seemed to satisfy him and I went on my way.

In retrospect, I don’t know what was worse: the fact that I rode a motorcycle in a condition that made it nowhere near legal to be ridden right up to the police station’s front door, or that the officer, who must have assumed that I was involved in a serious crash, was perfectly fine with me riding the motorcycle involved in that very same crash to the hospital.

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